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5 Min Read

Staying on the Offensive in the Fight of Our Time

March 27, 2020 / Peter Altabef

We live in unprecedented times. People and organizations across the globe are grappling to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We all have to do our part to slow its spread. For most of us, that means staying at home and keeping a six-foot physical distance from one another.

I recently saw a social media post with a photo of a sofa that said, "Our elders were called to war to save lives. We are being called to sit on the couch to save theirs. We can do this."

Yes, we can. That’s the simple part.

Something that’s not always so simple is to remember to be compassionate with one another as we go. "In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path," said Dr. Amit Ray, neuroscientist and philosopher. "The path of compassion, courage, understanding and love."

A great way to do this is to check in on those in your midst. Call or text them randomly – friends, family, colleagues. The higher path is available to all, and "how are you" takes on more meaning than in the past.

Another not-so-simple part is that not everything can be done from home.

Many of us can be just as productive, if not more so, from home. But not everything can be done remotely. Organizations that deliver basic services and other needed resources need to keep operating as they did before. That includes hospitals and other healthcare facilities that are caring for the sick. It covers the production and delivery of food and other essentials that we all require.

Governments, factories and financial services companies have to stay up and running as well. So too do the organizations that provide the technology systems that enable that to happen. Web conferencing tools are among the ways through which these companies are able to stay productive. Make use of the video capabilities when you can – it’s a great way to maximize the tool in staying connected. The flip side is that for people with family members taking classes online at home, doing so can take up valuable bandwidth. So you may have to pick your spots carefully!

Staying connected is not just about doing conference calls from home. Sometimes we have to get creative to get things done and stay connected. Virtual lunches are happening. So are virtual happy hours. We need each other, perhaps now more than ever.

Wherever we all are, technology is on the offensive.

Technology companies are stepping up to help. Amazon is expanding hiring by 100,000 people because its ability to provide essential goods directly to homes is an important element in limiting the spread of the virus. Fintech companies are providing technology to financial institutions so they can in turn expand outreach to their customers. With broader connection footprints, cybersecurity becomes an even more urgent issue than previously. Companies like ours with advanced security offerings and experience in helping others rapidly expand work-from-home capabilities are doing all they can to help as many as they can. Everyone should do their part, and it is surprising how much can be done.

The COVID-19 pandemic creates many challenges. Some of the needed responses are simple, others not so much. All are important – and all need to be infused with compassion.

Stay safe, everyone. We will get through this – personally and professionally, apart and together.